Habibul Bashar Retires from all forms of Cricket

Published: March 24, 2010

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Habibul Bashar wanted to have a smooth exit but one ‘big mistake’ made sure it was a silent one.

Well it was not entirely quiet in the end as the sports journalists gave the former Bangladesh captain a standing ovation that was both heart-warming and timely.

The former Bangladesh captain who announced on Monday of his retirement from all forms of cricket, held a press conference at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

His legacy as a cricketer and a Bangladesh captain received a major blow when he decided to join the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2008 and the man himself admitted it could have been a huge error in judgment.

“It was a big mistake,” acknowledged Bashar, adding that the last two years of his cricket career was not good.

“I can only blame myself because I went to the ICL. It could have been a smooth ending for me but for that, I could not finish my career while playing for the country,” said the right-handed batsman who was renowned for playing the shots at a time when most Tigers batsmen failed to make an impact.

“I have a few grievances but you don’t always get what you want. It has been a long journey from 1989 and I’ve played for Bangladesh since 1995 but I must say I am quite happy with my career,” said the 37-year-old Bashar.

The moment he realised that he was surplus to requirements for Bangladesh, Bashar knew that his time was up.

“It is a harsh reality that I won’t touch bat and ball but I’ve always said that when I’m not selected for the country, I would stop playing.

“But I played club and first-class cricket and even in the last few days of my career I heard some say that I should continue playing. But I knew my time was up,” said the man who has three centuries in his 50 Test matches.

Bashar however slated the practice of senior cricketers being deprived of a retirement from the playing field.

“It has become a tradition. Khaled Mashud had the same treatment while (Aminul Islam) Bulbul bhai didn’t even have a proper ending till today. I hope this trend changes in the future,” said Bashar.

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